Anochetus bispinosus (F. Smith 1858)

Ponerinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker lateral view

worker face view

(Gary Alpert of the MCZ prepared these images of a specimen from Colombia.)


Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia. Costa Rica: Atlantic lowland rainforest.


Head length without mandibles 1.59, with mandibles 2.53, head width 1.42; medial borders of mandibles without prominent teeth proximal to the single preapical tooth or angle; petiolar node as seen from the front or rear with apical margin distinctly concave, the 2 free corners produced as teeth; second segment of antennal funiculus at least twice as long as broad; eyelength greater than 0.08mm; pronotum irregularly rugose; striae on face relatively coarse; propodeal spines spiniform.

Natural History

This species is extremely rare and nothing is known of its biology. Brown (1978) reported museum specimens from scattered localities in South America, stating it was relatively rare in collections. Three workers are known from Costa Rica, all from one fogging sample. The specimens came from one of the Project ALAS fogging samples, a Minquartia guianensis tree (Olacaceae), from La Selva Biological Station in the Atlantic lowlands.

It is curious how a species, especially one this large, can be so rare in collections. In spite of much myrmecological work in Central America in the past century, and an intensive inventory of ants at La Selva, only the three workers have been encountered. Over 50 trees have been fogged at La Selva, and A. bispinosus occurred in only one. Perhaps there is some aspect of its nesting biology that makes it difficult to sample.

Type data

Odontomachus bispinosus F. Smith 1858:199. Holotype worker: Brazil, Amazonas: Ega (=Tefe).

Literature Cited

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1978. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography. Studia Entomol. 20:549-652.

Smith, F. 1858. Catalogue of the hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. 6. Formicidae. , London. 216 pp.

Page author:

John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505

Date of this version: 11 July 2002.
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